Ocala Civic Theatre Education Department
The Ocala Civic Theatre Education Department provides young people opportunities to explore and develop their interests and lay a solid foundation in all aspects of theatre arts. Classes and workshops promote self-confidence, communication, creativity and service, as well as give students the necessary skills to grow as artists, actors, technicians and individuals.
Our goal is for each child in our program to find his or her own voice and sense of play in a non-competitive atmosphere. The teaching staff is comprised of professional theatre artists who have extensive experience as instructors, performers and directors, and who are recognized for their excellent rapport with students and their ability to inspire and motivate young people.
• The proposition that the best way for young people to understand and appreciate the theatre arts is through direct participation.
• Professionally directed, interactive, hands-on programs that celebrate young people’s spirit, creativity and fresh perspective.
• Developing life skills in children through participation in performing arts.
• Providing creative outlets, structure and discipline for young people to progress in the theatre arts.
• Reaching young people who do not have regular opportunities to appreciate theatre in their lives because of economic, cultural or physical barriers.
• Primary classes (Grades Pre-K to 2nd): Develops self-confidence and socialization skills in a comfortable setting, using story dramatization, music, art activities and movement.
• Elementary classes (Grades 3rd – 5th): Encourages creative thinking by exploring character, voice, movement and improvisation as well as provide training opportunities in the basic skills of performing musical theatre.
• Middle and High School classes (Grades 6th – 12th): Builds on basic acting and musical theatre performance principles while incorporating more advanced skills, including character development, script analysis and scene study. At this level, students are also offered the opportunity to learn and develop technical and non-performance theatre skills, such as sound, lighting, construction and stage management.
• All our education programs are designed to complement and build on each other, allowing young people to continue exploring with us, no matter what their age or experience level.
The Education Program also provides opportunities for adult students to further develop their performance and technical skills while building an appreciation of the commitments made by those artists who participate in productions. As opportunities arise, guest directors, designers, artists and other theatre professionals will conduct adult workshops that focus on specific areas of performance and technical training. Throughout the season Adult Education Programs also conduct audition preparation sessions which include tips on cold reading and audition material selection as well as an in-depth analysis of the plots and characters of particular shows and opportunities to develop and strengthen audition skills.
Each year for more than a decade, Ocala Civic Theatre has presented two touring programs in local elementary schools: the annual literacy tour and the annual in-school touring show. Study guides are also provided to teachers to accompany our touring productions, making them a fully interactive educational experience for students. Through the generous support of grants and local businesses, these programs are offered free to area schools.
Ocala Civic Theatre, in cooperation with Marion County Public Schools media specialists, annually chooses a children’s author whose works are presented in dramatic form to local students. Ocala Civic Theatre actors visit local elementary schools to give dramatic presentations of selected books, celebrating the work of selected authors and illustrators in a fun and theatrical way. Our presenters share the joy of reading and encourage further reading by engaging students in creative activities which coordinate with the chosen books. Ocala Civic Theatre is proud to promote literacy to thousands of local students each year through the use of dramatic arts, visual arts, and music.
Ocala Civic Theatre annually presents an in-school touring show to expose local students to the performing arts. Our actors visit local elementary schools to perform a production geared for young audiences, introducing them to the wonderful world of theatre. Productions are chosen with a theme in mind which is relevant to today’s students.
Bits ‘N Pieces Giant Puppet Company: This traveling group annually visits us to present musical productions of fairytales and stories from classic children’s literature, imaginatively performed by giant, colorful puppets. These wonderfully fun shows are geared toward students in grades K-3. Thousands of local students are able to visit Ocala Civic Theatre in memorable field trips, giving many of them their first experience with the magic of a live stage production.